Monday, June 25, 2012

Bread, Coffee, & the Pope

Folgers coffee company manages to arrange a meeting with the Pope at the Vatican.
After receiving the Papal blessing, the Folgers official whispers 'Your Eminence, we have an offer for you. Folgers is prepared to donate $100 million to the church if you
change the Lord's Prayer from 'give us this day our daily bread' to 'give us this day our daily coffee.'

The Pope responds, 'That is impossible. The prayer is the word of the Lord. It must not be changed.'

'Well,' said the Folgers man, 'we anticipated your reluctance. For this reason we will increase our offer to $300 million.'

'My son, it is impossible. For the prayer is the word of the Lord and it must not be changed.'

The Folgers guy says, 'Your Holiness, we at Folgers respect your adherence to the faith, but we do have one final offer…. We will
donate $500 million - that's half a billion dollars - to the great Catholic Church if you would only change the Lord's Prayer from 'give us this day our daily bread' to 'give us this day our daily coffee.' Please consider it.'

And he leaves.

The next day the Pope convenes the College of Cardinals.
'There is some good news,' he announces, 'and some bad news. The good news is that the Church will come into $500 million.'

'And the bad news your Holiness?' asks a Cardinal.

'We're losing the Wonder Bread account.'


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Heartland Baptist "Bible" College

Next in our installment of Bible colleges is Heartland Baptist Bible College (formerly known as Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where Sam Davison is in the president.

As we said before, we based the results on the 4-year prescribed plan for those thinking they are called to be pastors.

As with Crown, you can get a feel for the direction of the school by certain introductory statements that are made on their website such as thew following:

"We realize there are good, fundamental Bible colleges across America that emphasize Baptist distinctives, separation, soul-winning, and world missions."

  • Since no Christian in the Bible ever called themselves a baptist, emphasizing "Baptist" distinctives is called philosophy, not Bible.  The emphasis should be Bible doctrine.  I know everyone that loves the Baptist distinctives more than the Bible itself would say that all the distinctives are biblical, but we know better.

"These three majors are designed to promote the development of character, spiritual maturity, and commitment to the local New Testament Baptist church."
  •  You can develop your character, become more spiritually mature, and learn commitment to a temporal church organization without spending thousands at a Bible college: so why go? 
So for Heartland, here is your Bible education:

FRESHMAN: 3 Bible Courses - Gospels, Genesis, Acts/Life of Paul
SOPHOMORE: 4 Bible Courses - Bibliology, Pneumatology/Angelology, 2 Bible electives
JUNIOR: 5 Bible Courses - Ecclesiology, Christology/Soteriology, Eschatology, Anthropology/Hamartiology, 1 Bible elective
SENIOR: 5 Bible Courses - Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Dispensationalism, 2 Bible electives

This yields a result of 17 Bible courses in a 4-year program of study.  However, in addition to the aforementioned Bible electives, the student will also have the opportunity to take up to 6 more Bible electives.  We did not include these in the count since they student can choose between taking a Bible course, course on youth work, a missions course, or Greek.  We also felt it was unlikely that a student would use all 6 opportunities to take a Bible course.  The total number of classes required is 56: which leads to a result of 30% using just the required classes.  If we are gracious and assume some Bible loving student would use all 6 electives to take a Bible course, that percentage jumps up to 41%.  

Either way you slice it, less than 2 full years of education time is spent educating future pastors to perform their primary duty: "FEED MY SHEEP."

While we do commend HBBC for having a course specifically on dispensationalism, they too spend too much time acting like a worldly university.  They waste time with subjects such as grammer, composition, American Lit., and Speech & Debate to name a few.  Again, not all of these classes is a complete waste of time; but as a substitution for teaching through Paul's epistles verse-by-verse?  We think not.

Nevertheless, this is what happens when Christianity takes on worldly institutions and tries to "christianize" it: it didn't work for the papists, it work for the Baptist's either. 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Crown College of the "Bible"

First up in this study on Bible college is the infamous Crown College of the Bible located in Powell, Tenn. and run by "Dr." Clarence Sexton.  Despite the serious Shibboleth problem that was exposed down there, this is still one of the leading independent baptist colleges in America; as well as one of the most influential.  Therefore we chose to deal with it out of the gate.

We based the results of the survey on the 4-year prescribed plan of study as listed on the college's website.  While we understand that this may not be the exact way every pastoral ministry major at Crown goes through the system, it is the recommendation of the school, and therefore, is the ideal.  Keep in mind we also defined a Bible course as:

  • An individual book of the Bible taught
  • Specific Bible doctrines such as: Soteriology, Angelology, etc.
  • Dispensational courses
  • A required "Bible" elective
  • Book groupings taught such as: Pastoral Epistles
You can start to get a feel that this college, like the others, is more interested in teaching their students THEIR PHILOSOPHY rather than the words of holy writ as they list the key courses of the pastoral major as Living the Christian Life, Homiletics, and Baptist History and Distinctives.   One would think they would at least include the Pastoral Epistles as a key class for future pastors, but no.

With this in mind, here is what future pastors and graduates of Crown must undertake to be deemed "prepared" for the ministry:

FRESHMAN: 0 Bible Courses
SOPHOMORE: 6 Bible Courses - Bible Doctrine I & II, Pentateuch, Gospel Records, Historical Books, Christian Church Epistles
JUNIOR: 3 Bible Courses - Pastoral Epistles, Poetic Books, Hebrew Christian Church Epistles
SENIOR: 4 Bible Courses - Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, 2 Bible Electives

This yields a result of 13 Bible Courses in a 4-year program of study.  The total number of courses required to obtain a Bachelor of Biblical Studies in Pastoral Ministry from Crown is 54.  Therefore, doing the math (13/54) we find that 24% of the classes taken by a pastoral major are actually Bible courses.  While this is pathetic, Crown actually fares better than other "Bible" colleges; if you can believe that.  They, at least, do cover the entirety of the canon of holy scripture; albeit in an elementary way.  But this is more than you will see at some IB/IFB colleges in this survey.

Is this what you expected?  If we combined all the Bible courses, they could be taken in one academic year.  That means a Crown pastoral major will spend 3 of 4 years learning everything except the Bible.  WOW!

So what other subjects are taken by pastoral majors?  Greek (how come no Hebrew and Aramaic?), missions, Christian Home, Christian Music, Church Finance, Baptist History, and Counseling to name a few.  And we would not condemn the taking of these courses as many of them are helpful, and maybe even needful.  However, it is never wise to substitute teaching of holy scripture for an auxiliary course.  Church finance, church history, the home, music, and most other side subjects are covered in scripture.  Therefore you could teach the Bible in-depth; verse-by-verse, book-by-book, and cover all of these in some detail; kind of like expository preaching, which most fundamentalists think is a death sentence for a church per Jack Hyles' commendation (but that's another subject for another day). down and several more to go.  Remember, we said Crown was one of the better ones.  Up next: Pacific Coast...errr...Heartland Baptist Bible College.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Bible" College?

Dr. Peter S. Ruckman once said, "Higher Christian education is a circus without a tent."  And the truth of this statement has never been more evident than here in Laodicea.  The proof of this can be seen in churches all across the land pastored by men from some of the most well-known Baptist Bible colleges.  Yet their congregations are ignorant of even the basic Bible doctrines.  Why is that?  Why can't these men transfer their vast knowledge of the scripture which their professors transferred to them in Bible college?  Better yet: how much knowledge of the scripture did those professors transfer to their students?  You might be surprised how little!

Despite former 10-year HAC professor Dr. William P. Grady commenting that while he was there they taught "below zero doctrine," we thought it prudent to see exactly how little Bible is actually taught at these institutions designed to prepare men to "feed the flock of God."  The percentage of Bible taught in a 4-year program designed for men (supposedly) called to be preachers will astound you.  What you will notice is the overwhelming number of "ministry" courses taught;  meaning, these carnal schools are putting out managers and not men that are "apt to teach" since the men that taught them aren't apt to teach either.

For the purposes of this research and survey we defined a "Bible" class as:

  • An individual book of the Bible taught
  • Specific Bible doctrines such as: Soteriology, Angelology, etc.
  • Dispensational courses
  • A required "Bible" elective
  • Book groupings taught such as: Pastoral Epistles
So how will your alma mater fare in this survey?  Not well, that's for sure.

First up...the Crown College of the Bible.  Stay tuned.


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